We could probably all use more contentment. Why have we, as a society, grown so discontent?
I don’t really care for the old NIV, but the discussion points against broad brush ‘gender inclusive’ language in bible translations (and liturgies) are good.
1. It obscures the profound symbolism of gender:
Gender has a profound, cosmic meaning. God created manhood, womanhood, marriage and sex to put the love story of Christ and the Church on display. When we mess with the Bible’s gender language, we obscure gender’s symbolism. We make truths about God and the gospel more difficult to understand
2. It exalts gender above that to which it points:
Changing the Bible’s gender language implies that the Bible’s gender language is about us. It’s not. The Bible is ultimately not about male and female—it’s about Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God. The Bible does not use predominantly male gendered language to exalt men; it uses it to exalt THE Man who paid the ultimate price to redeem His Bride.
3. It diminishes the unique beauty of womanhood:
Blurring the Bible’s gender language contributes to the blurring of gender distinctions. It diminishes and devalues the unique role and beauty of womanhood.
4. It is less inclusive of women:
Gender inclusive Bibles cast women as “other” rather than part of the collective whole. God collectively named male and female “man” (Hebrew: ‘adam. See Gen. 5:2) to indicate that male and female would share a common condition for which He would provide a common answer. Because both male and female are ‘adam, both are equally represented by the first man, Adam. Both are fallen and in need of a Savior. The good news of the gospel is that both are also equally represented by the Second Man—the Last Adam—Jesus Christ. When God named male and female ‘adam, he had the Last Adam in mind. So when, in order to appease modern sensibilities, we change “man” to something we think is more inclusive,” we diminish the theological meaning and exclude woman. If woman is not specifically identified as “man” then how can she be represented by the first man, Adam? What’s more, how can she be represented by the Second Man, the Last Adam, Jesus Christ? Gender inclusive Bibles are supposed to be more inclusive of women, but pardoxically, the language theologically does the exact opposite. It excludes women from the collective whole.
5. It demeans women:
Gender inclusive Bibles imply that women are too stupid to figure out that in the Bible, the words “man” and “brothers” are inclusive terms. The male translators have to fix the words for us, since we’re not theologically astute enough or bright enough to get it on our own. Quite frankly, I feel like gender-inclusive Bibles insult a woman’s intelligence.
6. It patronizes women:
Poor little girls. The translators need to change the words of the Bible so our feelings don’t get hurt. Boo hoo. Women are so easily offended. Sorry, … but changing the words of the Bible because you think some women might be offended by its language is downright patronizing.
7. It calls God’s attitude toward women into question:
Making changes to gender language is based on the premise that God ought to have given gals and guys equal air time. Trying to minimize the discrepancy suggests that God didn’t care enough about women to take our feelings into account. The natural conclusion is that He obviously loves his boys more than He loves his girls. The conclusion is wrong. And the premise is wrong.
8. It calls God’s wisdom into question:
Poor God. His bad. He needs our help. He wasn’t smart enough to get the words right. He obviously isn’t as enlightened as people living in the new millennium. We have to step in and update His image, to make the Bible more palatable to woman’s modern sensibilities.
9. It encourages further changes to Scripture:
I know of at least one Muslim that is aghast that Christians would have the audacity to tamper with the wording of our Holy Book. And since we’re audacious enough to tamper with gender wording for humans, it won’t be long till we’re audacious enough to tamper with gender wording for God. Translators will undoubtedly feel the need to update God’s names so that HE becomes more gender inclusive. Terms like “Mother-Father God,” “Jesus, child of woman and man,” “Great Source of Being in the Sky” and our “God-Goddess” communicate the concept of a gender-inclusive deity much better than the male-gendered language of the Bible. Don’t be naive. I’ve studied feminist theology long enough to know that naming self leads to naming the world leads to naming god. It’s audacious indeed!
10. It leads women away from truth:
I care about women. Deeply. I long to see them experience healing and wholeness in Christ Jesus. I do them a disservice when I apologize for the Bible, fail to embrace its unvarnished beauty and power, and shrink back from sharing the Words that are perceived by some as foolishness and a stumbling block, yet are actually the power and wisdom of God for righteousness and sanctification and redemption. I fail women when I try to make God or His Word more palatable. I empty the cross of its power (1 Cor. 1:17-30).
Gender and gender language is important. It touches on the essence of a woman’s identity, the essence of the character of God, and on the essence of the gospel. We get things so very wrong when we think we can improve on the Bible’s teaching on gender or the gender language it uses. The big picture informs us that from the very beginning, God’s plan for gender has very little to do with us and very much to do with Him. And we need to trust that even if we don’t fully understand them, the words, images and means He has chosen to display His glory are not only right, they are also good. Very good! And also very good for women!
This is the last I’m going to post about this sermon; I’ve given it this much press because it is so warped. Here’s what stood out in this article:
Secondly, the apostle waged spiritual warfare against the slave girl. While he recognized that what she said was true; the source of her authority came from Satan, not from Jesus. Paul, unhesitatingly commands, “in the name of Jesus” that the “spirit of divination” come out of her. This happened. Paul let the possessed girl follow him around for several days before he cast out the spirit. Paul’s ministry was being compromised and her cries were in fact counter-productive because he knew she was possessed by something evil, not something good. Paul heals the girl, freeing her from possession. In actual fact, it is not Paul doing the healing, but Jesus Christ whom Paul rightly invokes.
The theology behind this evidently permeates portions of TEC. I’ve seen it in the parish that I attend.
Unfortunately, I think this meme has truth in it for many of my fellow pewsters.
The latest from the PB is the talk of my very tight corner of the blogosphere. The PB’s sermon has been discussed by Lowly Pewster, Lux Christi, and Rod Dreher. My favorite from Lux Christi and the new title that I will refer to the PB is ‘Flaminica of the Episcopagn Church of What’s Happening Now’.
Does she do this stuff just to annoy the orthodox?
When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them. St.
John x. 4.
(Addressed to Candidates for Ordination.)
“Lord, in Thy field I work all day,
I read, I teach, I warn, I pray,
And yet these wilful wandering sheep
Within Thy fold I cannot keep.
“I journey, yet no step is won -
Alas! the weary course I run!
Like sailors shipwrecked in their dreams,
All powerless and benighted seems.”
What? wearied out with half a life?
Scared with this smooth unbloody strife?
Think where thy coward hopes had flown
Had Heaven held out the martyr’s crown.
How couldst thou hang upon the cross,
To whom a weary hour is loss?
Or how the thorns and scourging brook
Who shrinkest from a scornful look?
Yet ere thy craven spirit faints,
Hear thine own King, the King of Saints;
Though thou wert toiling in the grave,
‘Tis He can cheer thee, He can save.
He is th’ eternal mirror bright,
Where Angels view the FATHER’S light,
And yet in Him the simplest swain
May read his homely lesson plain.
Early to quit His home on earth,
And claim His high celestial birth,
Alone with His true Father found
Within the temple’s solemn round:-
Yet in meek duty to abide
For many a year at Mary’s side,
Nor heed, though restless spirits ask,
“What, hath the Christ forgot His task?”
Conscious of Deity within,
To bow before an heir of sin,
With folded arms on humble breast,
By His own servant washed and blest:-
Then full of Heaven, the mystic Dove
Hovering His gracious brow above,
To shun the voice and eye of praise,
And in the wild His trophies raise:-
With hymns of angels in His ears,
Back to His task of woe and tears,
Unmurmuring through the world to roam
With not a wish or thought at home:-
All but Himself to heal and save,
Till ripened for the cross and grave,
He to His Father gently yield
The breath that our redemption sealed:-
Then to unearthly life arise,
Yet not at once to seek the skies,
But glide awhile from saint to saint,
Lest on our lonely way we faint;
And through the cloud by glimpses show
How bright, in Heaven, the marks will glow
Of the true cross, imprinted deep
Both on the Shepherd and the sheep:-
When out of sight, in heart and prayer,
Thy chosen people still to bear,
And from behind Thy glorious veil,
Shed light that cannot change or fail:-
This is Thy pastoral course, O LORD,
Till we be saved, and Thou adored; -
Thy course and ours—but who are they
Who follow on the narrow way?
And yet of Thee from year to year
The Church’s solemn chant we hear,
As from Thy cradle to Thy throne
She swells her high heart-cheering tone.
Listen, ye pure white-robed souls,
Whom in her list she now enrolls,
And gird ye for your high emprize
By these her thrilling minstrelsies.
And wheresoe’er in earth’s wide field,
Ye lift, for Him, the red-cross shield,
Be this your song, your joy and pride -
“Our Champion went before and died.”
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. Genesis xi. 8
Since all that is not Heaven must fade,
Light be the hand of Ruin laid
Upon the home I love:
With lulling spell let soft Decay
Steal on, and spare the giant sway,
The crash of tower and grove.
Far opening down some woodland deep
In their own quiet glade should sleep
The relics dear to thought,
And wild-flower wreaths from side to side
Their waving tracery hang, to hide
What ruthless Time has wrought.
Such are the visions green and sweet
That o’er the wistful fancy fleet
In Asia’s sea-like plain,
Where slowly, round his isles of sand,
Euphrates through the lonely land
Winds toward the pearly main.
Slumber is there, but not of rest;
There her forlorn and weary nest
The famished hawk has found,
The wild dog howls at fall of night,
The serpent’s rustling coils affright
The traveller on his round.
What shapeless form, half lost on high,
Half seen against the evening sky,
Seems like a ghost to glide,
And watch, from Babel’s crumbling heap,
Where in her shadow, fast asleep,
Lies fallen imperial Pride?
With half-closed eye a lion there
Is basking in his noontide lair,
Or prowls in twilight gloom.
The golden city’s king he seems,
Such as in old prophetic dreams
Sprang from rough ocean’s womb.
But where are now his eagle wings,
That sheltered erst a thousand kings,
Hiding the glorious sky
From half the nations, till they own
No holier name, no mightier throne?
That vision is gone by.
Quenched is the golden statue’s ray,
The breath of heaven has blown away
What toiling earth had piled,
Scattering wise heart and crafty hand,
As breezes strew on ocean’s sand
The fabrics of a child.
Divided thence through every age
Thy rebels, Lord, their warfare wage,
And hoarse and jarring all
Mount up their heaven-assailing cries
To Thy bright watchmen in the skies
From Babel’s shattered wall.
Thrice only since, with blended might
The nations on that haughty height
Have met to scale the Heaven:
Thrice only might a Seraph’s look
A moment’s shade of sadness brook -
Such power to guilt was given.
Now the fierce bear and leopard keen
Are perished as they ne’er had been,
Oblivion is their home:
Ambition’s boldest dream and last
Must melt before the clarion blast
That sounds the dirge of Rome.
Heroes and kings, obey the charm,
Withdraw the proud high-reaching arm,
There is an oath on high:
That ne’er on brow of mortal birth
Shall blend again the crowns of earth,
Nor in according cry
Her many voices mingling own
One tyrant Lord, one idol throne:
But to His triumphs soon
HE shall descend, who rules above,
And the pure language of His love,
All tongues of men shall tune.
Nor let Ambition heartless mourn;
When Babel’s very ruins burn,
Her high desires may breathe; -
O’ercome thyself, and thou mayst share
With Christ His Father’s throne, and wear
The world’s imperial wreath.
And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts ii. 2-4
When God of old came down from Heaven,
In power and wrath He came;
Before His feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame:
Around the trembling mountain’s base
The prostrate people lay;
A day of wrath and not of grace;
A dim and dreadful day.
But when he came the second time,
He came in power and love,
Softer than gale at morning prime
Hovered His holy Dove.
The fires that rushed on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.
Like arrows went those lightnings forth
Winged with the sinner’s doom,
But these, like tongues, o’er all the earth
Proclaiming life to come:
And as on Israel’s awe-struck ear
The voice exceeding loud,
The trump, that angels quake to hear,
Thrilled from the deep, dark cloud;
So, when the Spirit of our God
Came down His flock to find,
A voice from Heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing, mighty wind.
Nor doth the outward ear alone
At that high warning start;
Conscience gives back th’ appalling tone;
’Tis echoed in the heart.
It fills the Church of God; it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.
To other strains our souls are set:
A giddy whirl of sin
Fills ear and brain, and will not let
Heaven’s harmonies come in.
Come Lord, Come Wisdom, Love, and Power,
Open our ears to hear;
Let us not miss th’ accepted hour;
Save, Lord, by Love or Fear.
Very bad theology from the PB. What else is new?
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 St. Peter iv. 10.
The Earth that in her genial breast
Makes for the down a kindly nest,
Where wafted by the warm south-west
It floats at pleasure,
Yields, thankful, of her very best,
To nurse her treasure:
True to her trust, tree, herb, or reed,
She renders for each scattered seed,
And to her Lord with duteous heed
Gives large increase:
Thus year by year she works unfeed,
And will not cease.
Woe worth these barren hearts of ours,
Where Thou hast set celestial flowers,
And watered with more balmy showers
Than e’er distilled
In Eden, on th’ ambrosial bowers -
Yet nought we yield.
Largely Thou givest, gracious Lord,
Largely Thy gifts should be restored;
Freely Thou givest, and Thy word
Is, “Freely give.”
He only, who forgets to hoard,
Has learned to live.
Wisely Thou givest—all around
Thine equal rays are resting found,
Yet varying so on various ground
They pierce and strike,
That not two roseate cups are crowned
With drew alike:
E’en so, in silence, likest Thee,
Steals on soft-handed Charity,
Tempering her gifts, that seem so free,
By time and place,
Till not a woe the bleak world see,
But finds her grace:
Eyes to the blind, and to the lame
Feet, and to sinners wholesome blame,
To starving bodies food and flame,
By turns she brings;
To humbled souls, that sink for shame,
Lends heaven-ward wings:
Leads them the way our Saviour went,
And shows Love’s treasure yet unspent;
As when th’ unclouded heavens were rent.
Opening His road,
Nor yet His Holy Spirit sent
To our abode.
Ten days th’ eternal doors displayed
Were wondering (so th’ Almighty bade)
Whom Love enthroned would send, in aid
Of souls that mourn,
Left orphans in Earth’s dreary shade
As noon as born.
Open they stand, that prayers in throngs
May rise on high, and holy songs,
Such incense as of right belongs
To the true shrine,
Where stands the Healer of all wrongs
In light divine;
The golden censer in His hand,
He offers hearts from every land,
Tied to His own by gentlest band
Of silent Love:
About Him winged blessings stand
In act to move.
A little while, and they shall fleet
From Heaven to Earth, attendants meet
On the life-giving Paraclete
Speeding His flight,
With all that sacred is and sweet,
On saints to light.
Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, all
Shall feel the shower of Mercy fall,
And startling at th’ Almighty’s call,
Give what He gave,
Till their high deeds the world appal,
And sinners save.